Why New Relic
Provides insight across the technology stack to identify performance issues and root causes in web applications, microservices, mobile apps, and more.
- Supports DevOps by accelerating the feedback loop and providing a basis for teams to collaborate on resolving issues
- Significantly reduces troubleshooting time and effort while helping developers be more proactive in identifying performance problems
- Delivers visibility into cloud resource usage for a scale-as-you-go approach
Founded in 1995, REA Group Ltd. is a leading property marketing and advertising company, and operates Australia’s leading residential and commercial property websites realestate.com.au and realcommercial.com.au, European sites casa.it, atHome.lu and immoRegion.fr, Chinese property site myfun.com, and a number of iProperty online property portals in Asia. REA also holds investments in U.S.-based Move, Inc. With a unique audience of more than 3.6 million every month (Nielsen, March 2015 – March 2016, desktop and msite), realestate.com.au is a market-leading website in Australia for residential property. REA Group also offers award-winning mobile apps, including an Apple Watch property finder app.
Moving from big releases to a continuous delivery approach
With 42 million site visits per month on average (Nielsen, six months to December 2015, desktop and msite) and more than 5 million app downloads (Google Play and iTunes, total downloads to January 2016), REA Group is successfully delivering on its goal of empowering people by making the property journey simple, efficient, and stress-free. As it rapidly expands its presence not only in Australia, but the U.S., Europe, and Asia as well, REA Group understands that becoming and remaining a market leader requires constant innovation and reinvention, including adopting potentially disruptive new technologies such as virtual reality and three-dimensional scanning.
The need to constantly create and evolve was the driving factor behind the company’s move to embrace both the cloud and a DevOps approach. “Before we moved to DevOps, all of our deployments were gigantic, big-bang type releases that were weeks apart,” says Colin Panisset, global infrastructure lead for REA Group. “Each deployment had a huge number of changes, with large amounts of failure and lots of rollback. Worse yet, there was little information or insight into why things had gone wrong.”
As it began moving to the cloud and forming a DevOps culture, REA Group realized that it was missing a major component: a way to track and measure application performance, customer experience, and business metrics. “We had to have a way to see performance issues in real time throughout the application stack and identify points of contention as well as root causes of problems,” says Panisset. “And we wanted to gain meaningful metrics about whether a given change was good for the customer or not.”
“With our DevOps approach, issues are no longer operations’ problem, they’re everyone’s problem. We all pitch in to diagnose the problem and New Relic makes that much easier by giving us the data we need in an easy-to-use format.”
Gaining real-time insight into software performance
REA Group’s search for a software analytics solution quickly led it to New Relic. “After deploying New Relic into the main application for our site, we started seeing results straight away,” says Panisset. “Almost immediately, we could see that there were problems within the database tier. It was revelatory, almost like shining a light into the dark corners of the architecture.”
From that initial success, REA Group expanded its use of the New Relic platform to include New Relic APM, New Relic Browser, New Relic Mobile, New Relic Plugins, and New Relic Synthetics. Alyssa Biasi, a developer at REA Group, appreciates how New Relic helps her and her fellow developers do their jobs better. “All the developers have access to New Relic,” says Biasi. “With our DevOps approach, issues are no longer operations’ problem, they’re everyone’s problem. We all pitch in to diagnose the problem and New Relic makes that much easier by giving us the data we need in an easy-to-use format.”
“The cross-application tracing capability within New Relic has been instrumental in facilitating our adoption of microservices. It lets us drill down into individual transactions as they cross service boundaries and find out exactly what’s causing issues.”
Today, the 400-strong IT organization at REA Group relies on New Relic to provide the visibility and insight it needs as it embraces not only DevOps and the cloud, but a new microservices architecture as well. “Microservices improve our productivity and shorten our time-to-market because they allow teams to work autonomously and deliver independently,” says Aidan Steele, a developer with REA Group. “The cross-application tracing capability within New Relic has been instrumental in facilitating our adoption of microservices. It lets us drill down into individual transactions as they cross service boundaries and find out exactly what’s causing issues.”
New Relic is helping REA Group developers be more proactive, such as fixing an issue early when it only impacts 1% of users compared to 20%. “We found we had a performance issue when users loaded a particular screen on the iOS mobile app. We couldn't work out why that was happening,” says Steele. “New Relic reduced the time to diagnose that issue from potentially weeks to a matter of hours. It helped us pinpoint the conditions in which the issue would happen enabling us to resolve it much quicker than we would have otherwise.” The group responsible for mobile apps also relies on New Relic Synthetics to emulate actual users and test the parts of the system from end to end to proactively root out problems.
“New Relic has helped us shorten the feedback cycle, improve the quality of the code delivered, reduce the amount of rework and achieve a shorter time-to-market.”
Realizing the full benefit of a DevOps approach
Panisset credits New Relic with helping REA Group make dramatic leaps in efficiency and innovation. “It’s a very different company since I started five years ago and New Relic has been a big part of that journey,” says Panisset. “The ability to try things rapidly, fail fast, and see where things are going wrong and why, has enabled us to pivot rapidly when necessary.”
Moving to a DevOps approach played a major role in REA Group’s ability to bring services to market faster and for Panisset and the rest of the team, New Relic is a key component in that success. “New Relic has helped us shorten the feedback cycle, improve the quality of the code delivered, reduce the amount of rework and achieve a shorter time-to-market,” says Panisset.
New Relic played an important role in REA Group’s journey to the cloud, as it moved first its development environments and more recently began moving its production workloads to Amazon Web Services. “With the cloud, we get elasticity, self-service, and the ability to convert what would have traditionally been capital expenditure into operational expenditure, says Panisset. “New Relic allows us to scale as we go and adopt a cattle-versus-pets approach to servers.”
As REA Group continues to diversify its services and expand globally, New Relic gives it the insight it needs to succeed. “With New Relic, we can move as rapidly as possible to build and deliver new services that matter to our customers and consumers,” says Panisset. “We can do that because New Relic lets us stay focused on our core mission and not have to worry about writing our own monitoring tools.”